What to do if my father passed away recently and I want to find out about his estate?

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What to do if my father passed away recently and I want to find out about his estate?

His sister was his payee with social security. He was divorced and has 3 children including myself and 3 grandchildren. His parents are deceased. His sister who was his payee has all of his financial information and is willingly sharing the information with me his oldest child. She is now claiming that she and her spouse purchased his camper, and that he has no money left after his funeral expenses when he had well over $11,000 in the bank prior to his passing; the day we made the funeral arrangements she stated all the money my father had was 6,000. As far as I know there was no Will and no life insurance policies. I am trying to find out what to do in order to find out all this info.

Asked on March 17, 2013 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If he had any estate that was in his name then a probate proceeding would be filed in the county in which he resided at the time of his death.  This looks to be a small estate proceeding given the assets so it is fairly simple to probate.  All estate proceedings are public record so you can view the file.  Once you review it then you can decide what you wish to do.  If they purchased the camper then the proceeds from the purchase should have been part of his estate.  In the absence of a Will the intestacy statutes apply and you as his children should take priority over his sister. You can send a letter requesting an accounting if she was a POA prior to death or fiduciary appointed after.  Good luck.


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